Adoption and Grandparent Visitation


Wow! I never even thought about grandparents suing for visitation of adopted kids. Anyone can sue anyone else so even if the case gets thrown out or you win you’ll still have to hire an attorney, take time of off work, etc.

While reading up on foster care adoption, and things to be careful of, I came across a post on a board about adoptive parents being sued for adoption by the biological grandparents. I had no idea what even after you adopt a kid from foster care, the biological grandparents could come along and sue the adoptive parents! This is just more fear to put on my list about adoption.Anyhoo … you might want to consider that as well.

In California, our laws say:

Under California law, a grandparent can ask the court for reasonable visitation with a grandchild. To give a grandparent reasonable visitation with a grandchild, the court has to:

  1. Find that there was a pre-existing relationship between grandparent and grandchild that has “engendered a bond.”  This means that there is such a bond between grandparent and grandchild that visitation is in best interest of the grandchild. AND
  2. Balance the best interest of the child in having visitation with a grandparent with the rights of the parents to make decisions about their child.

In general, grandparents cannot file for visitation rights while the grandchild’s parents are married. But there are exceptions, like:

  • The parents are living separately;

  • A parent’s whereabouts are unknown (and have been for at least a month);

  • One of the parents joins the grandparent’s petition for visitation;

  • The child does not live with either of his or her parents; or

  • The grandchild has been adopted by a stepparent.

6 thoughts on “Adoption and Grandparent Visitation

  1. The foster care agencies I’ve spoke with say their policy is to actively pursue kinship placements before non-kinship ones … so grandparents *should* be contacted re: adopting kids in foster care before the foster parents (or others).

    • The lady on the board said that they grandparents had been ruled out, but that they still chose to sue for visitation. They had to spend $26k to fight it! They won, but the point is still … anyone can sue and tie you up in a court battle. *sigh*

  2. Grandparent visits would be cool if the grandparents are nice. I feel like it could go either way … If we could all get along and not have to sue each other … that would be nice …

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